May 26, 2020

Laurita Pursues Her Dreams

It is sometimes hard to find good news and to be upbeat in these challenging times; the times of COVID-19.

But one thing that can give us all some comfort is to bear witness to how well children who are Deaf deal with the tough hand they have been dealt. Most often they do not complain, they are open to many changes and challenges, show amazing resiliency and, best of all, offer us all hope that a better future is within reach.

We invite you to read on, to learn firsthand how Laurita aspires to continue her education, to create a better life for herself while displaying courage and perseverance in the process.

It is also worth mentioning that all students, teachers, staff and their families at Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende are doing well while following “stay at home” practices during the school's temporary closure. 

EEESMA is proud to announce that Laurita has registered in Utel University's on-line program for a Bachelor Degree in Education. The program begins June 1st, 2020 and runs for 2 years 8 months. She will be tutored by teachers at EEESMA offering translation from Spanish to Mexican Sign Language to assist Laurita to better understand and complete assignments.

Following her graduation from high school at EEESMA last March, and after spending several months working with Directora Juaniz as a teaching assistant, Laurita realized that she had a lot to offer children who are Deaf by pursuing a career as a teacher. Through this work, she has demonstrated strong abilities to work with young Deaf students.

Described as a bright, warm, enthusiastic and caring young woman, those who know Laurita are confident she will make a great teacher and an amazing role model for all young Deaf people. During the temporary closure of school, Laurita has continued to work alongside Juaniz in an impressive way to support students with their virtual studies. Please join us in wishing Laurita well in the pursuit of her dreams of attaining higher education and becoming a teacher of the Deaf.  

Links:

Jan 27, 2020

National Day of the Deaf in Mexico

Children Peforming On Stage
Children Peforming On Stage

Fostering Deaf Awareness, and Asking “What Does It Mean to be Deaf”?

On November 29, 2019 National Day of the Deaf was observed by Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende. This was a day meant for all to reflect on what it means to be Deaf; as best as one can who is hearing! Teachers, families, friends, supporters and, most importantly, the students themselves gathered to share with each other.

It was a day to celebrate one's deafness. (Yes, it is possible to celebrate deafness if one has pride in oneself and in one's community.)

It was a day to create awareness around what it means to be Deaf.

It was a day to educate, inform and entertain.

All of these things were accomplished, and more, on this remarkable day.

Highlights of the event included informative speakers on issues facing the Deaf, a presentation of a children’s book illustrated by Jesús a student of the school, lively and entertaining stage performances by a visiting interpreter/performer and several engaging dance and sign language songs performed by the children themselves. The touching finale was a song performed by the students and their parents together, communicating their affection for each other in sign language. Many of the parents are only just beginning to learn Mexican Sign Language and this public display of tenderness was extraordinary for the students and for those fortunate enough to be there to witness it.

 As Day of the Deaf is also intended to educate and inform, we share some important facts. INEGI (a federal government agency in Mexico) reports:

-of the over 5.5 million people with disabilities in Mexico, 12.1% or 694,451 are Deaf.

-6,000 are born each year with a hearing impairment.

The Deaf, along with many others who have disabilities (or as we like to say "those with different abilities"), are only now gaining some recognition, particularly in smaller centers such as San Miguel de Allende. Municipal government officials attended this event and organized another observance entitled "Dia de Discapacidad" or Day of the Disabled the following week. It’s not a lot, but it is a start.

It wasn't until 2005 that Mexican Sign Language or LSM was even recognized as an official language in Mexico. The biggest hurdle, as we see it, is to convince those with decision making power to allocate resources to better train teachers and interpreters in Mexican Sign Language within the public school system. Might it be possible for a student from EEESMA to one day fill such a role? Those associated with EEESMA are confident that it will be. We also know there is so much more work still to be done.

On the bright side, advances in technology hold great promise, particularly when it comes to bridging the communication barrier. An announcement was made this day about a new phone app that will translate oral language into sign language, hopefully available soon.

Because of the lack of easily accessible information about the Deaf community and about Deaf Education to most in and around San Miguel, families of Deaf children are often left to feel helpless and don’t know where to turn for guidance. EEESMA continues to work diligently to get the information out there, and this event certainly helped accomplish that. Sanjuana Garcia Salgado, Director of EEEMSA, together with her team and all the students, produced a very successful presentation. Join us in offering them our congratulations on a job well done!

Maricuz With Expression!
Maricuz With Expression!
Jacobo, A Natural
Jacobo, A Natural
All Take a Bow
All Take a Bow

Links:

Oct 31, 2019

Angelico Comes To School

School Is Fun
School Is Fun
Ángelico was born on  May 10, 2012 (Mexican Mother's Day), making him 7 years old. 
He has two siblings, both hearing, a brother 4 years old and a sister 3 years old. He is the only one in his family who is Deaf. He was diagnosed when doctors did newborn hearing screening. Ángelico was not ill at birth but was postterm.
He has had hearing devices since a very young age but they hurt him and he prefers not to use them.
The economic situation of the family is very difficult. Ángelico's mother explains that the whole family depends solely on her husband for support. He goes everyday to the place outside the City of San Miguel de Allende (believed to be near Palo Colorado) where the garbage service delivers the trash every day. He collects metal, plastic, paperboard and anything salable. The family's income depends only on how much his father can collect and then sell at the end of each week. The family lives in the Rancho Viejo community, in a house that Ángelico's mother's family lends to them.
Despite coming from poverty, Ángelico is a happy child, He has a brightness in his eyes and in his smile. He likes to wear costumes and dance in community celebrations. He was proud to have his mother show a video on her phone of his dancing performance.
Please help sponsor Ángelico so he may continue to come to school and receive an education in Mexican Sign Language.  

Links:

 
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